Reviews and Ratings

July 3, 2017

It is essential for any writer who wants to get his or her work taken seriously to get it reviewed and get the review published on a webpage where it can be bought.  Most review sites ask reviewers to rate the books they review and these usually range from 1 star (the lowest rating) to 5stars (the highest).  It is good for the writer’s ego to achieve a large number of 5 star ratings.  This also encourages potential readers to buy and, in the case of sites like Amazon, can help boost its sales ranking.

But a 5 star rating is seldom always possible.  Readers are subjective about what they like to read and an author can never satisfy everybody.  One or two 1 star reviews will always lower a book’s overall ranking, but these should never put the potential reader off reading it.  The ratings are often chosen by the reviewer arbitrarily and a reader should read the reviews from a range of ratings before allowing them to let these influence their choice.

My tendency is to read at least three reviews ranging from the highest star rating to the lowest and then decide for myself if I think that the content of the book might be one that I will enjoy.  But if I have read the author before and like his or her work then this will tend to override the notice I take of the reviews.  More often than not the recommendation of a friend will take president as word of mouth is often the best way that works of real merit are disseminated.  When I finish the book I almost always review it and try to give it as honest a rating as possible.  As a writer-publisher myself, I know that most writers will appreciate this.

Keith Jahans
Editor, Peatmore Press

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Book Reviews

October 29, 2012

There are hundreds of books published each month so it is impossible for all of them to be reviewed by a reputable critic.  All authors like their book reviewed but only extracts from the favourable ones get used on the jacket.  There is no doubt that good reviews are good for publicity but it is questionable whether the reader takes much notice of them.

Peatmore Press took great trouble to find reviewers for its first published book, Cogrill’s Mill but it was considered doubtful whether buyers took any notice of these when extracts were printed on the jacket or its website as the reviewers were hardly recognised household names.

http://peatmore.com/cogrills.htm

Most reviewers at that time expected payment especially if it was required by a specific publication date.  So when successive books were published the Company went ahead and launched them without any glowing tributes to accompany them preferring to rely on word of mouth to help.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/26/business/book-reviewers-for-hire-meet-a-demand-for-online-raves.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

After all, it is not what is printed on the jacket or even the beginning of the story or the ending written specifically to grab the readers’ attention that matters; it is the bit in the middle which counts.